Lower Madison: 1420 CFS: One of the better options for winter fishing. Make sure ice on the edge is stable and stick to the deeper holes. If a fish is produced don’t be afraid to keep working on the same hole, as well as the surrounding area. Flies: Crayfish patterns, copper johns, San Juan worms, coffee rubber legs, and lightning bugs
Upper Madison: 985 CFS: Fishing below Hebgan is great throughout the winter. A s you start getting closer to Ennis there are ice shelves along the river, if you are going to fish be careful as the ice can be unstable. Flies: Midges, small stoneflies, and egg patters are a sure bet
Missouri: With warmer weather the fishing should be good again watch for the midge hatch as it will be coming around the corner shortly. Don’t be shocked if you even see fish rising near the dam boat launch to midges. If you are looking for big fish or even a lot of fish, this is the place to be. Nymphing is the ticket right now. Flies: Little midge, hot bead pink ray charles
Yellowstone: Fishing is always questionable this time of year if you are wading watch for ice. Best bet to produce fish will be nymphing or throwing streamers. Flies: Midges, Sloan’s stones, and larger golden stones
Hyalite: 10 to 12 inches of ice with the warmer weather be sure to wear you much boots because it will be slush city up there. But that is not going to stop the fish from biting. If you are up during the day it will usually produce but it’s always off and on. The evening bite was hot but is starting to slow down, still produce plenty of fish if you decide to make a trip up be careful on the roads. Pink and orange jigs during the day tipped with maggots or night crawlers, and at night any color glow jig also tipped with maggots or night crawlers.
Canyon Ferry: there have been reports of ice up to a foot near hole in the wall. Trout fishing is good using tipped attractors. Weather is laying down ice but the center of the lake is still questionable. Steer clear of the pressure ridge. Perch and walleye bite has been slow but with some being caught in 30 to 40 feet of water. Little to no snow on ice so bring the cleats.
Ponds Around Bozeman: Every pond has questionable ice. The ponds will be slushy with the warm weather. At Bozeman beach people cannot keep the rainbows off their line any jigs tipped with a night crawler. Perch are biting as well on pink jigs with a maggot all the way on the bottom but very few are being produces. 10 inches being reported at the pond by the mall and 6 inches were reported at the Bozeman Beach pond.
Colder weather this week has brought the ice fisherman out all over SW Montana. The lake is frozen on the Ruby and Clark Canyon is finally giving up some fish. Watch the ice on Clark Canyon, however, because the dam side was open water until last week. You may want to drill a few holes before venturing far out from shore. Sucker meat on the bottom is best for the ling. Marshmallows and night crawlers have been good set baits, with vertical Rapalas and Halo jigs performing well.
Georgetown has been giving up hundreds of Kokanee near the pump house and out from Denton’s point. The brook trout hit real well on imitation egg jigs in the areas near spawning
Kokanee. Try a wedding ring, or some cocktail shrimp as the Kokanee are not finicky eaters.
Delmo has been hit and miss for the fisherman this past week, however some nice 17 inch cutthroat have been reported. Orange garlic marshmallows always seem to work the best at Delmo Reservoir, or other florescent orange baits. Maggots and glo hook rigs, Swedish Pimples, or Atomic Ants are also a good bet.